• Author:
    Richard Weil, MEd, CDE

  • Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Which pedometer is accurate?

Accurate pedometers are those with step-count errors less than 10%, high or low. That is, your pedometer should not count more than 110 steps, or fewer than 90 steps, if you walk 100 steps. The accuracy of 13 popular pedometers was studied in 2003 (see pedometer list below). Results from this study showed the Kenz Lifecorder, New-Lifestyles NL-2000 (piezoelectric), and Yamax Digi-Walkers SW-200 and SW-70 to be the most accurate of the various models tested. The Colorado on the Move, Sportline 330 and 345, and Yamax Skeletone EM-180 were within acceptable high or low error limits of 10%. The Accusplit and Freestyle underestimated steps by 20% and 25%, respectively, and the Walk4Life, Omron, and Oregon Scientific overestimated steps by 20%, 30%, and 45%, respectively. Here are the pedometers that were studied with their rank marked with an asterisk (*).

  • Accusplit Alliance 1510***
  • Freestyle Pacer Pro***
  • Kenz Lifecorder*
  • New-Lifestyles NL-2000 (piezoelectric)*
  • Omron HJ-105****
  • Oregon Scientific PE316CA****
  • Sportline 330 & 345**
  • Walk4Life LS 2525****
  • Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200*
  • Yamax Digi-Walker SW-701*

* most accurate

** within acceptable high or low error limits of 10%

*** underestimated steps by 20% (AA) and 25% (FPP)

**** overestimated steps by 20% (W4L), 30% (Omron) and 45% (OS)

The Kenz costs hundreds of dollars, which is probably more than you want to spend, but the Yamax SW-200 and SW-70, as well as many of the others range in price from $20 to $30 dollars.

How do I position my pedometer on my body?

Pedometers should be worn on your waist in a line straight up from the middle of your knee. They can be worn on either side of the body. You can wear it on your underwear if you're wearing a dress without a waist band, and you can wear it on your sock if you have excess abdominal fat and can't keep your spring-levered pedometer upright. My clients who can't keep the pedometer vertical on their waistband have had good results wearing their pedometer on their sock.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/23/2015

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